Labour’s promise to ditch the National-led Government’s plans to change the law so that public funds can be diverted to for-profit education offers voters a real choice in this election about the future of public tertiary education, the Tertiary Education Union said today.
Announced this afternoon, Labour’s commitment would help to ensure the provision of tertiary education is determined by the needs of New Zealanders, not the profit-making motives of big companies. Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First are all opposed to National’s damaging legislation, meaning voters have a genuine chance this election to vote against the commodification of learning and to keep tertiary education public and local.
Sandra Grey, national president of the Tertiary Education Union, said:
“Labour’s commitment to keeping tertiary education public offers a credible and popular alternative to the clear failings of the current National-led approach to increasingly privatising education and making it business-focussed.
“National has spent the last nine years pushing a profit model onto the learning opportunities institutions deliver, and where they’re based. As a result, funding has become increasingly unstable, and changing student numbers has brought frequent chaos to institutions and cuts to departments. Three more years of National’s failed approach poses a serious threat to education in rural and regional communities where institutes of technology and polytechnics are already losing out to for-profit providers.
“Tertiary education belongs to all of us, because it benefits all of us. It must be an accessible public service that serves society. Winning elections is about inspiring people to vote for a genuine alternative, and with Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First all opposing National’s tertiary education plan there is an opportunity to vote for a change that will benefit us all.”